Colourful bash marks 25 years of independent Eritrea
Osman Mohammed Omer and Kemal Mohammed during the silver jubilee Independence Day celebrations in Dubai.
Dubai - Event showcased Eritrea's music and culture, and featured an eight-person band flown in from Eritrea
The Eritrean community in Dubai came together over the weekend to celebrate the country's silver jubilee Independence Day in style.
The celebration was attended by Eritrean ambassador Osman Mohammed Omer; Eritrean Consul-General Jemal Abdalla; Chairman of Eritrean community in the UAE Kemal Mohammed and other prominent Eritreans.
The consul-general explained the historic significance of Eritrea's Independence Day, which marks the date that Eritrean forces entered the country's capital, Asmara, in 1991 after a decades-long struggle against Ethiopia.
The event also showcased Eritrea's music and culture, and featured an eight-person band flown in from Eritrea, as well as an arts showcase and distribution of gifts.
During his speech, Ambassador Omer said the silver jubilee "has a different taste after 30 years of war and devastation" and praised the relationship between the UAE and Eritrea. He commended the Eritrean people who struggled to get a sovereign country and thanked all those who made sacrifices to make the dream come true. He also spoke about the landmarks of Eritrea's development and the efforts made by the government to ensure food security, preserve agricultural and fishery resources, and provide good infrastructure and transport.
The consul-general told Khaleej Times that the celebration is aimed at "renewing our pledge to contribute to building the greatest nation and a prosperous state".
Hailing the UAE, Kemal Mohammed said Eritrean expats are thankful to be here. "We ... enjoy and respect the freedom we have (here)," he said. "We feel as if we are living in our own country. It is our second homeland, and Eritreans are loyal to the UAE and are ready to defend this peaceful country that provides support to all nations."
He said there are 4,500 Eritreans in the UAE.